Player Profiles

Vladimir Guerrero Jr

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By John Perrotto Vladimir Guerrero walked away from the pandemic-shortened 2020 season vowing to report to spring training in better shape in 2021. The Toronto Blue Jays first baseman lived up to his promise. Guerrero was hardly recognizable when he walked into the clubhouse at Dunedin, Fla., for the first day of camp. Guerrero reported 42 pounds follow an offseason of aggressive conditioning and better eating. “I came to spring training out of shape for a couple of years,” Guerrero said upon arriving in Dunedin. “One day at my house in the Dominican I just sat down and thought about...

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Pete Alonso

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By Matt Ehalt A polar bear has found his home in New York City. It’s hard to find a better match among player and city than the one between Mets first baseman Pete Alonso – affectionately known as the Polar Bear – and the Big Apple. Alonso’s charismatic, outgoing and team-first approach to the game, in addition to his potent bat, has made him a huge hit in Gotham. It all started in 2019 when Alonso, a second-round draft pick from the University of Florida, produced a rookie season that most could only dream of. The Tampa native worked his...

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David Peralta

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By Chris Haft When you're doing a roll call of the National League West's best players, remember to include David Peralta. The 33-year-old has mastered both corner outfield positions for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has demonstrated consistency by compiling a .291 career batting average, hitting below .275 only once in eight Major League seasons. He captured a Silver Slugger award in 2018, when he established personal bests for home runs (30), hits (164) and total bases (289). He also was named a Gold Glove winner for his defensive excellence in 2019, when he started 91 games in left field and...

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Michael Conforto

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By Matt Ehalt Athletic excellence flows throughout the Conforto family. Mets outfielder Michael Conforto’s mother, Tracie, is a three-time Olympic medalist swimmer. His father, Mike, played linebacker for Penn State in the 1970s. Michael has continued the athletic tradition by becoming one of the most beloved homegrown Mets in recent years. The sweet-swinging lefty helps anchor the middle of their lineup. It didn’t take Conforto long to leave his mark in the majors with the Washington native playing in the World Series just 16 months after being drafted. The Mets selected Conforto with the 10th pick in the 2014 draft following...

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Francisco Lindor

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By John Perrotto Francisco Lindor’s first thought after being traded to the New York Mets from the Cleveland Indians was not about baseball. “Pizza,” the star shortstop said in his introductory Zoom call with the New York media following the trade in early January. “I was thinking I was going to be playing in a city with great pizza.” Perhaps it is fitting that Lindor loves pizza. After all, he plays baseball with a lot of pizzazz. A wide smile never seems to leave the 27-year-old’s face whether he is on the field, in the clubhouse or signing autographs for...

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